ayew2The five candidates for the 2015 BBC African Footballer of the Year have been revealed during a special live launch broadcast in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Algeria’s Yacine Brahimi, the 2014 winner, is on the shortlist along with Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ghanaian Andre Ayew, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast.

The winner will be decided by African football fans, who have until 18:00 GMT on 30 November to vote for their choice.

You can either vote here or by sending an SMS from your phone to 44 7786 20 20 08:

Text 1 for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Text 2 for Andre Ayew

Text 3 for Yacine Brahimi

Text 4 for Sadio Mane

Text 5 for Yaya Toure

Standard international text rates apply, please check with your service provider. Texts are limited to one text per mobile phone number. Click here for full terms and conditions.

The winner will be announced on Friday, 11 December between 15:30 and 16:00 GMT during a special live broadcast on both BBC World News and BBC World Service, with the BBC Sport and BBC Africa websites also carrying the announcement.

Three of this year’s shortlist, which was voted for by journalists from 46 African countries, have previously won the BBC award – Ayew in 2011, Toure in 2013 and Brahimi.

Aubameyang makes the shortlist for the third year running, while Mane is on it for the first time.

Striker Aubameyang, 26, finished as Borussia Dortmund’s top scorer last season before creating German records in 2015-16.

In October, he became the first man to score in the first eight matches of a Bundesliga season, with his first 17 competitive games resulting in 20 goals – a run that included back-to-back hat-tricks.

The year has had plenty of highs for Ayew, but February’s Africa Cup of Nations final reduced the 25-year-old to tears as the Black Stars lost to Ivory Coast.

But the tournament’s joint top scorer was crucial to Ghana’s run and he transferred his form to the Premier League, with an impressive five goals from his first 10 games for Swansea City.

Brahimi, 25, has added goals to his stellar wing play, netting a career-best 13 last season, while helping Porto reach their first Champions League quarter-final in six years.

The number of dribbles he completed prior to the semi-finals was only bettered by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.

On 16 May, Southampton’s Mane needed just 176 seconds to score the fastest hat-trick in the 23-year history of the Premier League.

He has scored 10 goals and five assists in 29 Premier League games this year, a run made more impressive given the 23-year-old plays as an advanced midfielder rather than in the central striking role.

The only player on the shortlist to lift a trophy this year is Toure – the 32-year-old captaining Ivory Coast to a first Nations Cup title in more than two decades.

The oldest nominee, the midfielder is key to Manchester City’s fortunes and his performances have been recognised by Fifa, which named him as the only African on its prestigious Ballon d’Or shortlist.

BBC

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Michael Eli Dokosi is a journalist and a formidable writer with a decade's experience. He is a blogger as well who currently owns and manages the news portal www.blakkpepper.com. The site is a wholesome news platform with entertainment, political, general, sports, negroid and foreign news offerings with the tagline 'More than Straight News' because of its alternate take on issues. The blakkpepper name emerged because the site is Afrocentric and hot. The Managing Editor can be reached via cell line (+233) 0249907425 & (+233) 0262907425 and via email blakkpeppergh@gmail.com for adverts, enquiries and news coverage invites.